30-Minute Meals from Around the World

updated May 24, 2019
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(Image credit: Muy Delish)

Cooking quick meals, whether during the week after a long work day or on a lazy weekend, takes a certain type of expertise. It takes knowing what ingredients will be worked with and adequately prepping to execute a meal smoothly — and quickly.

Looking for some inspiration? These recipes will take you on a journey around the world — to India, west and east Africa, Spain, and even Peru. Take your pick and cook something that’ll tantalize your tastebuds and won’t mean hours upon hours rumbling around in the kitchen.

(Image credit: Appetite for China)

1. Hong Kong Noodles with Shallot Oil from Appetite for China

Noodles, pancetta, and a dash of soy and fish sauce constitute this quick Chinese dish. The process is simple, as Diana Kuan of Appetite for China outlines: Cook the pork in oil and heat the shallots and garlic to flavor the oil. Then toss the noodles with the rest the soy and fish sauces. And ta-da! Dinner is served.

(Image credit: Silvia’s Cucina )

Pasta dishes tend to be fast, satisfying meals, but when you layer them with more ingredients and flavors — as Italian-born and Sydney-living Silvia, of food blog Silvia’s Cucina, has done — it can be a dish tinkered with flair and simplicity.

(Image credit: Spanish Recipes by Nuria)

3. Avocado Gazpacho from Spanish Recipes by Núria

Gazpacho is a refreshing cold soup eaten during the sultry summers in Spain to keep cool. Núria, a Spanish home cook and blogger behind Spanish Recipes by Núria, devotes her blog to exploring the home side of Spanish gastronomy, including this avocado-based gazpacho.

(Image credit: Kitchen Butterfly )

4. Timi’s Fried Rice from Kitchen Butterfly

Yellow chili peppers make this Nigerian fried rice dish shine. Whether you want to use beef, chicken, or shrimp, this dish can be easily tailored to your liking. Use leftover rice and chop veggies in advance to cut the cooking time down.

(Image credit: Pisco Trail)

5. Parihuela (Peruvian Seafood Soup) from Pisco Trail

Parihuela usually takes hours, between the cooking of the seafood and making of fresh seafood stock. For a shortcut, purchase seafood from your local grocer pre-steamed, along with a good seafood stock. Also, prep the veggies in advance or buy them pre-chopped. This recipe is a Nico Vera original, the Peruvian chef behind blog Pisco Trail. He preserves criollo cuisine on his blog and in the pop-up dinners he hosts.

(Image credit: Muy Delish)

6. Turkey Enchiladas from Muy Delish

This enchilada recipe uses shredded turkey while holding true to the Mexican food Ana Frias grew up eating and loving in her home country as a child. To make this recipe go quickly, shred the turkey in advance and keep it in the fridge.

(Image credit: Carnal Dish)

7. Creamy Tomato Soup from Carnal Dish

There’s nothing better than a warm bowl of tomato soup. Resha of Carnal Dish purées small cubes of bread to thicken the soup instead of using heavy cream. Feeling fancy? Pair this soup with your favorite grilled cheese.

(Image credit: Monica’s Spicy Diary)

8. Chingri Malaikari (King Prawn Coconut Curry) from Monica’s Spicy Diary

Bursting with coconut flavor, Monica of Monica’s Spice Diary creates a comforting dish reminiscent of all the years she learned how to cook dishes from her native country, India. Serve this recipe alongside basmati rice to soak up the rich, spicy sauce.

(Image credit: La Tartine Gourmande)

9. Hachis Parmentier from La Tartine Gourmande

Béatrice grew up in the northeastern countryside of France and, although she now lives in Boston with her husband and son, her love of French food is kept alive through her kitchen creations. Hachis parmentier is a classic French dish featuring diced meat and a rich lyonnaise sauce topped with fluffy mashed potatoes, similar to the Irish shepherd’s pie. Use leftover beef stew to go from oven to table quickly.

(Image credit: Kaluhi’s Kitchen )

10. Ukwaju (tamarind) Marinated Chicken Thighs from Kaluhi’s Kitchen

Kaluhi Adagala started her food blog, Kaluhi’s Kitchen, because she wanted to showcase recipes using locally available ingredients in Kenya (where she is from and based) that are simple to execute while not being boring. Her twist on shallow fried chicken thighs begins with a tamarind marinade. To make this meal quickly, start the marinating process the night before.

What are your favorite global 30-minute recipes? Let us know in the comments.